Volunteer Joseph Molotsky of Port Townsend and Swainson’s hawk Ryder attended Discovery Bay Wild Bird Rescue’s “baby bird shower” in the Wild Birds Unlimited garden a week ago. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Volunteer Joseph Molotsky of Port Townsend and Swainson’s hawk Ryder attended Discovery Bay Wild Bird Rescue’s “baby bird shower” in the Wild Birds Unlimited garden a week ago. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Showering birds with care

Donations gathered for nestlings, fledglings

GARDINER — Under the brilliant sunshine, the volunteers held a shower.

A baby shower for the birds it was, witnessed by a small flock of magnificent grownups.

Jett the Harris hawk, Ryder the Swainson’s hawk, Dillon the great horned owl and Merlot the kestrel were all present for Discovery Bay Wild Bird Rescue’s Sunday afternoon event at a shop on U.S. Highway 101 last weekend.

Wild Birds Unlimited’s public garden served as the venue for the rescue organization’s annual baby-bird shower, a collecting of donations monetary and otherwise.

Towels, pillowcases, heating pads and lamps are among the items needed to care for nestlings and fledglings brought in to licensed wildlife rehabilitator Cynthia Daily.

A handful of volunteers joined Daily to show off Discovery Bay Wild Bird Rescue’s permanent residents: raptors that are human-imprinted or injured to a degree that makes it unsafe to release them into the wild.

“We thought long and hard about being here” amid coronavirus concerns and event cancellations, Daily said.

“This could be our last chance. We just want to be here for people dropping things off.”

A few did come with donations, but the numbers were significantly lower than previous years, said Madison Crabtree, 17, a volunteer who introduced visitors to Darwin the screech owl.

“He doesn’t screech,” she said of the dove-sized bird, who merely gazed peaceably at passers-by.

Discovery Bay Wild Bird Rescue also shared cards with information about helping the winged youngsters out there.

If you find an uninjured nestling, put it back in the nest.

Can’t find the nest?

Build one from a margarine tub or similar shape; poke drainage holes, line it with tissue and nail it to a tree as close as possible to the original nest’s likely location. Make sure baby and nest will stay shaded and protected as the sun moves.

As for fledglings: If you find one unhurt, put it back where it was, or hide it in a bush or other foliage. Try to keep pets and children away for a few days.

If you find an injured nestling or fledgling, contact Discovery Bay Wild Bird Rescue at 360-379-0802. The organization can also be reached via www.discoverybaywildbirdrescue.com, [email protected] and P.O. Box 861, Port Townsend, WA 98368.

The Wild Birds Unlimited shop at 275953 U.S. Highway 101 — equidistant from Port Townsend and Sequim — is an ideal drop-off point for people rescuing avian patients, Daily added.

“We get every kind of bird, from hummingbirds to sea birds to eagles,” she said.

Since the retirement of Jaye Moore, founder of Sequim’s Northwest Raptor Center, the Discovery Bay rescuers have seen their patient load double.

“Last year we had 400 birds come in,” Daily said.

One recent arrival is Merlot, a kestrel or sparrow hawk from the Yakima Valley.

The bird, now age 17 or so, was the label model for a winery there.

Since he was ready for retirement, “they called and asked, ‘Would you like Merlot?’” Daily said.

To which the answer was yes.

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz, a former features editor for the Peninsula Daily News, is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.

More in News

“Silent Moment” is one of the photo stories Sequim artist and educator Marina Shipova has created through her work. She was chosen as the Art Fellow for the City of Sequim’s “Sequim Understory” project to help convey Sequim’s story to residents. It coincides with a potential project at the northeast corner of the Sequim Avenue/Washington Street intersection. (Photo courtesy of Marina Shipova)
Sequim live for feedback on downtown Sequim corner

Artist chosen to share photo stories

Peninsula virus cases hit plateau

Health officers still urge caution

Rachel and Daniel Shyles were among nearly 30 people to attend a COVID-19 popup clinic at Barhop Brewing and Taproom for a free beer to go along with a free vaccine. Rachel got her second shot of Moderna vaccine on Saturday. Daniel said he already had two inoculations. The service was provided by the Clallam County Health and Human Services department. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Free beer with vaccine

Rachel and Daniel Shyles were among nearly 30 people to attend a… Continue reading

For the first time in a year, the Tuff as Nails rowing team took the Blue Streak for a sun-splashed spin in Port Townsend Bay on Monday morning. Coming back in are Nikki Russell, facing front at left, Barb Hager and Christine Edwards; on the other side of the boat are Mari Friend and Zoe Ann Dudley. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Back on the water

For the first time in a year, the Tuff as Nails rowing… Continue reading

Port Townsend Police Chief Thomas Olson started work last week. Some of his goals include getting the department more involved with the community and increasing the diversity among officers. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)
Police chief starts position

Olson working on community connections

Clallam County eyes equity agenda

Broadband one area identified

Drug overdoses skyrocket in state amid COVID

More people in Washington state died of drug overdoses in… Continue reading

Peninsula numbers leveling, but state cases may take a few more weeks

Super-spreaders blamed for 135 infections, official says

Traffic delays scheduled Thursday on U.S. Highway 101 at Bagley Creek

Work crews will be placing six 81-foot girders across… Continue reading

Most Read